Wednesday, March 25, 2009

“South of the Border” - Daryle Lambert

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With my Spanish heritage I would be expected to have interests south of the border but little did I expect how widespread collecting is in Mexico. The Mexican artists have produced works that sell for prices equal to others around the world. Even the Mexican silver is beginning to reach prices that for so long were reserved for American and European artists.

But for this blog we will concentrate on painters. The religious painters in Mexico have been recognized as some of the best for centuries. Master Miguel Cabrera has painted some of the most beautiful Madonnas that you will ever find. This particular type of art doesn't appeal to me much, however, there are collectors that form their whole collection on this subject matter. The top price at auction that I could find for Miguel's work was $61,000 in 2008.

I have found that the more modern art works with vivid colors seem to be those that are most sought after by the collectors of Mexican art. Diego Rivera must be one of the most important Mexican artists and the staggering record price of $1,584.000 for one of his works that sold in 2005, stands to prove that he is in a class of his own. But there are others that should be mentioned, like Alice Rahon, born in 1914 and died in 1987. Her record price was achieved in 2007 and at $79,000, that isn't chicken feed. Pedro Friedeberg had a painting sell for $39,000 and R.C. Gorman reached $9000, but the only one I have had the privilege to own and sell was by Leonardo Nierman.

My phone never stops ringing but only a few of those calls are for me to visit a home and give my opinion of the value of items that the seller is interested in selling. When this does occur I can feel the emotions swell up inside my body. This happened once about two years ago when a very nice lady called and asked if I might be interested in some paintings she was considering selling. My answer was an immediate “yes” and we set the appointment date and time.

Arriving at the impressive house and entering the front door, I was surrounded by wonderful art. She had already had several people look at her pieces and most of the prices she had established were too high for me but there was this one that caught my eye. When she said the price was $1500 I knew it was mine. This is the only piece that I was able to buy that day but it was by Leonardo Nierman. There was just one problem. It was about six feet by six feet and I was in my car. There was no possibility of taking it that day so I paid the lady and asked if I could pick it up later, to which she agreed.

I later sold the painting for over $10,000. It was one of his paintings where it looked like a child had thrown paint on the canvas and them spun the piece for a few minutes.

Take some time and familiarize yourself with the leading Mexican artists and the chances are that in the future you will find a real treasure that others have passed by.

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